Gary’s Speech on Healthcare

I may be illiterate but I surround myself with very, very smart people. Take for example my friend Gary. He’s a magnificent orator and his speech is thoughtful. I wish the debate on healthcare, and every other government interest, could be articulated this well by the media.

For those who don’t know I’ve been in Toastmasters for 2 years and recently I developed a speech that had excellent reviews. As such I gave it as a test speech at a contest and subsequently was invited to another Toastmasters club to give it a 3rd time. They captured it on video. Maybe it’s meaningful to someone out there in the blog-o-sphere.

His blog.

The Historic Journey

I just finished reading Obama: The Historic Journey. I like to have a sense about what I might read to my kids. For example, just today we picked up Flat Stanley: His Original Adventure! but first we had to read the synopsis of Ralph and the Motorcycle and George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt (Joshua, I assume you will be getting this for your nephew at some point) (we settled on Flat Stanley). Since I wasn’t sure what to expect, and Elliot already has plenty of opinion about Obama and the election – I wanted to read the book entirely before he could have any part of it.

Overall I liked the book. The pictures were fantastic. There wasn’t anything in there that I hadn’t read during the election. But then again, as we all recall, I was a littl obsessed during the election.

There were a few things that I thought could be left out, some over-editorializing. However, the book is published by the New York Times – so it stands to reason that there’d be opinions stated.There’s an entire page dedicated to Sarah Palin being mocked by SNL, going so far as to explain some of the jokes.

The publisher lists the intended audience as 9-12 year olds. If I did my math correctly, that would be 3rd through 6th grades. I think that’s probably about right for the writing level. However, I think most kids that age remember the election personally since it wasn’t that long ago and since they’re old enough to watch TV and use the Internet. In a few years kids won’t reference books for their history, it’ll all be online.

The book was published in mid-February. That did allow the authors enough time to list who Obama was nominating to his cabinet but not enough time to definitivly say what sort of dog the Obama family would get (either Labradoodle or Portuguese water dog … no mention of pound puppy). Maybe that’s the incongruency for me, it doesn’t seem to be written to a specific audience. Elliot, age 5, would care about the dog and what sort of plane Obama flew around in during the campaign, what sports he played in high school, what was his favorite food in college. Older kids would probably be more interested in the social ramifications of the first black president. Sadly, the book doesn’t go into depth in either case. However, at 94 pages it does provide a nice pictorial history of the election without slamming Sarah Palin, too much.

Thanks to MomCentral for the chance to review Obama: The Historic Journey.

A Helper Suitable for Him

So disgusted.

And embarassed.

Gah.

Go listen, I’ll wait.

Clearly Senator Renfroe did not attend the same oration classes our President did. My goodness. My dearly departed Speech Coach in high school would have had her hands full with his stammering and what-I-mean-to-says. Spit it out already man: You’re a hate monger.

Mr Renfroe does represent a more conservative part of our state. But not the the most conservative. Greeley is a nice sized college town located in northern Colorado. It’s a ranch town. It’s predominitly White (80.4%), has a lot of families (>25% of the population is under 18), only a quarter of the adult population have college degrees. Fine. It’s conservative. That does not give Senator Renfroe the right to stand on the Senate floor and say that a) I was put on the planet to help my husband and give him children ONLY and b) align gays & lesbians with murderers.

Gah.

I went looking for the Golden Rule because I too can quote scripture. Instead I came across an article from a debate in Sept 2007 where each of the Democratic candidates was asked their favorite bible verse. Now Veep Biden had an answer that I think refers to Senator Renfroe

Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr.: “Christ’s warning of the Pharisees. There are many Pharisees, and it’s part of what has bankrupted some people’s view about religion. And I worry about the Pharisees.”

Granted, I had to look up Pharisees. Jesus said they are like

whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.

I think Biden was warning us of Senator Renfroe. Jesus too. Thank you jeebus!

And if your knickers are knotted, go here and tell Senator Renfroe what you think of his hate speech.

We Can Heal this Nation

We can heal this nation. We can repair this world. He is not the solution, but he’ll lead us well. Godspeed Mr. President.

Make Love Not Laws

As promised, I took my kids to a national protest against California’s proposition 8. We went to one in Boulder, not Denver, as I decided that being on familiar turf would give me an advantage with bathrooms and food options. It was awesome. A nice sized crowd given that there was college football today (that tends to keep non-game attending folks away, there’s only one major road in & out of Boulder).

There are over a thousand federal laws that treat married people differently from single people (Wikipedia). One thousand. You cannot tell me that I deserve 1,000 accommodations because I am married to Peter and not Paula. There are so many things that we take for granted. If Peter were in the hospital I would have access to him and have knowledge of his care. If I were in a relationship with a woman, I would have no protection for that. If Peter died tomorrow I would receive bereavement days from my employer and payments from the federal government to help care for our children. If I were in a relationship with a woman, I would have no protection and no financial safety net.

Why? And more importantly, why is that okay?

As usual, the poignant Keith Olbermann has something to say.

Then spread happiness—this tiny, symbolic, semantical grain of happiness—share it with all those who seek it. Quote me anything from your religious leader or book of choice telling you to stand against this. And then tell me how you can believe both that statement and another statement, another one which reads only “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

National Protest

The very first time I voted was March 3, 1992. It was the Democratic primary in my state and my 18th birthday. My friend Rachel turned 18 the following day and was honestly sadened that she would not be able to vote in the primary (especially since it was her mom that knew you could register to vote before your 18th birthday if you would be 18 on voting day).

That fall as I proudly cast my ballot for the next president, Coloradans passed a deplorable amendment

Neither the state of Colorado, through any of its branches or departments, nor any of its agencies, political subdivisions, municipalities or school districts, shall enact, adopt or enforce any statute, regulation, ordinance or policy whereby homosexual, lesbian or bisexual orientation, conduct, practices or relationships shall constitute or otherwise be the basis of, or entitle any person or class of persons to have or claim any minority status, quota preferences, protected status or claim of discrimination. This Section of the Constitution shall be in all respects self-executing.

Thankfully, it was eventually overturned as unconstitutional. And now, 16 years later the people of the great state of California passed their own hate law.

On Saturday November 15, my children and I will go to Denver to protest California’s Proposition 8. We’ll do it for Rachel and her partner and their baby that is due any day now. We’ll do it for every family that is not given equal protection under the law.

If you’re unsure why you should be against Prop 8, go meet Lesbian Dad and her family. Her family that is not given the same reverence and protection that my own family receives. If you think only liberals and homosexuals are anti-prop 8, Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is against it.

And please, don’t be naive and think this doesn’t affect you because you are hetero or because you don’t live in California. If there’s anything that the recent economic downturn has taught us is that we are all in this together.

Exhale

I didn’t realize how tired I was, how stressed out, how on-edge. When I wasn’t listening to NPR I was surfing CNN or HuffPost or MOMocrats. But last night? Last night I went to bed when the kids did. And I slept a peaceful sleep. This morning, I gripped the steering wheel a little less and there were tunes instead of news coming out of my radio. That’s not to say I’m reverting back to my head in the sand ways, but it’s nice to be able to relax on my way to work instead of inventorying my house for my move to Canada.

This morning, this is what lifted my spirits.

If you need more music, Wreke’s theme for NaBloPoMo is Blatantly Bad 70s Music.

Maverick

Main Entry:
1mav·er·ick
Pronunciation:
\ˈmav-rik, ˈma-və-\
Function:
noun
Etymology:
Samuel A. Maverick †1870 American pioneer who did not brand his calves
Date:
1867
1: an unbranded range animal ; especially : a motherless calf
2: an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party

Last night I saw the John McCain of 2000, the John McCain that was a maverick at one time, the John McCain that should have won the Republican nom eight years ago. During his concession speech his supporters boo’d at President-elect Obama’s name. And he sushed them. Do they not know enough about their candidate to know that he respects the office of the POTUS so much that he would NEVER allow such a thing?

In the waining weeks of the campaign we saw the worst of our candidates. And the best. In early October a McCain supporter said in front of a crowd of people that Obama is an Arab. McCain took the microphone and said
No ma’am, He’s a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues.
Could it have been stronger? Yes. But you could see in his face … you can see, is it sadness? Sadness that his supporters believe the lies? Sadness that he’s running a campaign similar to the one that tanked him in 2000? Whatever it was, it was as though a little of the pre-campaign McCain was showing through.

I think that’s the McCain that people wanted to support. That McCain knew he couldn’t win the GOP nomination. McCain leaving his “maverick” roots did two things: brought the crazies out of the wood-work and made many lose faith in their candidate.

“I wanted to see the next vice president of the United States,” said Josh Simmons, Gators for McCain chairman.

Simmons said he voted for Obama about two weeks ago.

“I’ve seen a different John McCain than the one I signed up to work for,” he said.

So, while we’re celebrating our victories (and in Colorado there is a lot of blue) remember that your neighbor’s, your friend’s, you mother’s candidate may not have won. And heed President-elect Obama’s words when he says

and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.  As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends…though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.”

Yes We Can

I don’t often post more than once per day. And given it’s NaBloPoMo I shouldn’t be blowing my wad all at once. I was going to post this tomorrow, but I think it’s needed today.

I wonder if what I feel now is the feeling of being a part of history in the making.

Go. Vote.

I Love Some Other Johns

I do not love John McCain. Elliot and I were at the county’s Obama campaign HQ and he was wearing his Obama t-shirt. He told one of the women there that it “has Rock-a-bama’s name on the back. And we don’t like John McCain.” Phew, good thing he cleared that up. Not that I’ve been fervent. I really haven’t. He just knows that we like Obama and we don’t like McCain.

I love me some 80s music. You know who else has great taste in music? John Cusack. I mean, look at High Fidelity. He and his screenwriting partners listened to over 20,000 songs to come up with the few songs used in the movie. Have you read the book? It’s good. I’ve enjoyed all of Nick Hornby‘s books that I’ve read. Maybe after today I’ll be able to read again.

Swoon.

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